May to announce £2 billion for social housing

Aiming to remove the ‘stigma’ of social housing, Prime Minister Theresa May is to announce a £2 billion investment to build more new homes in England, and to make people proud to live in council housing.

Under the plan, to be announced at the National Housing Federation Summit, housing associations, councils and other organisations will be able to bid for the money to spend on new projects, starting from 2022, with the government hoping the investment will allow local authorities and housing associations to build schemes that would otherwise seem too risky.

While David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, has claimed that the Prime Minister's announcement was ‘extremely welcome’, the Labour Party has criticised the spend as falling short, claiming the spending on new affordable homes had been ‘slashed’ and the number of new social rented homes built last year ‘fell to the lowest level since records began’.

May is set to say: “Some residents feel marginalised and overlooked, and are ashamed to share the fact that their home belongs to a housing association or local authority. On the outside, many people in society - including too many politicians - continue to look down on social housing and, by extension, the people who call it their home.

"We should never see social housing as something that need simply be 'good enough', nor think that the people who live in it should be grateful for their safety net and expect no better. I want to see social housing that is so good people are proud to call it their home... our friends and neighbours who live in social housing are not second-rate citizens."